Latex fetishism is the fetishistic attraction to people wearing latex clothing or, in certain cases, to the garments themselves. PVC fetishism and rubber fetishism are closely related to latex fetish, with the former referring to shiny clothes made of the synthetic plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and the latter referring to clothes made of rubber, which is generally thicker, less shiny, and more matte than latex. PVC is sometimes confused with the similarly shiny patent leather, which is also a fetish material. Latex or rubber fetishists sometimes refer to themselves as “rubberists“. Gay rubberists tend to call themselves “rubbermen“.
The terms “PVC”, “vinyl” and “PU” tend to be used interchangeably by retailers for clothing made from shiny plastic-coated fabrics. These fabrics usually consist of a backing woven from polyester fibers with a surface coating of shiny plastic. The plastic layer itself is typically a blend of PVC and polyurethane (PU), with 100% PVC producing a stiff fabric with a glossy shine and 100% PU producing a stretchy fabric with a silky shine. A manufacturer’s label may say, for example, 67% polyester, 33% polyurethane for a fabric that contains no PVC; or 80% polyvinyl chloride, 20% polyurethane with mention of the polyester backing omitted. The plastic layer is often textured to look like leather (“leatherlook”, “pleather“), as opposed to smooth (“wetlook“, “patent”).